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How Edgar Allan Poe’s Life Experiences Influenced His Writing

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For many poets, at some point in their creative process, their work was influenced by what was going on in their lives or what had happened in the past, whether it was good or bad. For Edgar Allen Poe his work displayed the brutalities throughout his life quite well. Even from birth Poe’s life wasn’t the best. His mother died shortly after he was born and his father abandoned him. The death of his brother pushed him into pursuing his career as a writer head on. Poe’s grief for the women he lost in his life heavily influenced many of his writings. Because of his calamitous life, Edgar Allan Poe wrote gothic like stories and poems.

To start off, Edgar Allen Poe was able to make it through all of his life without his biological parents ever being there. He still had a family growing up but that family did not always support or get along with Poe all the time. In the Poe Prezi in the “Early Life” section it states, “Poe claimed that Allan (foster father) had not given him sufficient money to register for classes, purchase texts, and procure and furnish a dormitory. Allan did send additional money and clothes, but Poe’s debts increased”. He may not have had the best relationship with his foster dad but his family cared enough to keep him on his feet. Poe had support from his family but not in the places that supported his ambitions of becoming a writer. In the “Early Life” section of the Poe Prezi says, “Poe gave up on the university after a year, and, not feeling welcome in Richmond, especially when he learned that his sweetheart had married another man”. This demonstrates one of the many results that came out of the many hardships Poe had to endure. To summarize, Poe was able to overcome hardships in his early life but did not have what was necessary to want to pursue his dream, which was support from his foster parents financially and emotionally.

Death surrounded poe throughout his life and was one of the major themes in his poems. The very much present death in his life made his works very emotional. Under the section “Military Experience”, the Poe Prezi explains,“He returned to Baltimore, to his aunt, brother and cousin, in March 1831. His elder brother Henry, who had been in ill health in part due to problems with alcoholism, died on August 1, 1831”. His brothers death was one of many that affected Poe. This death however, pushed him to actually try in his next attempt at his writing career. The section “Publishing Career” expresses, “Poe, throughout his attempts to live as a writer, had to repeatedly resort to humiliating pleas for money and other assistance. After his early attempts at poetry, Poe had turned his attention to prose.” This proves that Poe was able to put past hardships behind him and pursue his dream. The later deaths in his life influenced his later works in a positive way that put more emotional depth to his pieces. In the end, death strongly affected and played an important role for Edgar Allen Poe creating his poems.

Finally, the women Edgar Allen Poe lost affected him and his poems greatly. “Returning to Baltimore, Poe secretly married Virginia, his cousin, on September 22, 1835. He was 26 and she was 13, though she is listed on the marriage certificate as being 21. He published several poems, book reviews, critiques, and stories in the paper,” is suggested in the “Publishing Career” section of the Poe Prezi. This explains how Poe incorporated how he felt about Virginia into his works. After the death of his wife, Poe was more real in his writings and portrayed what his love and grief towards his wife meant. The “Publishing Career” section of the Poe Prezi mentions, “Increasingly unstable after his wife’s death, Poe attempted to court the poet Sarah Helen Whitman, who lived in Providence, Rhode Island. Their engagement failed, purportedly because of Poe’s drinking and erratic behavior”. This proves that Poe couldn’t handle much at the time and by trying to distract himself from the pain, he only worsened mentally. The loss of Virginia hit Poe hard and his mind set while he was grieving was clearly reflected in his works at the time. All in all, the hard time Poe had to go through after the death of his wife,Virginia, influenced his writings in a dark ways and allowed for him to grow as a writer.

In conclusion, Edgar Allan Poe wrote dark, emotional stories and poems because of the painful life he had. Not being raised by his biological family and not getting the emotional support needed from his foster parents did not help Poe in his early life while trying to pursue his dream. It wasn’t till the tragic loss of one of his siblings did he actually make an honest attempt at starting his writing career. The women who were in Poe’s life affected his works and allowed him to put real passion into his works. Edgar Allen Poe was an influential poet who wrote fantastic works by being able to go through hardships in his life and expressing his strong emotions in his writings. 

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